With many film releases being pushed back, theaters don’t have anything to show right now.
At the beginning of the summer, AMC Theaters announced their plan to gradually reopen their locations around the world with new health and social distancing protocols. The first phase of this reopening was originally set for July 15, with the goal of all locations being open projected for July 24. The beginning of the plan was then pushed back to July 30, as several summer blockbusters still hadn’t been released. These same movies, including Tenet, Mulan, and others, have all had their productions delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and were recently forced to delay their releases indefinitely.
The delays of the summer blockbusters have put AMC in a difficult position. While they do have the capacity to reopen and a plan in place, if they were to begin reopening now, there wouldn’t be any new movies to show, which would likely reflect in a reduced customer turnout. As such, AMC has had no choice but to postpone their reopening plans once again until more big-name movies are ready and available. Currently, the only summer blockbuster with a concrete release date is Disney’s Mulan, set for August 21, but nobody seems to be entirely sure whether that date will remain set in stone. Warner Bros.’ Tenet was set for a similar release date on August 12, but the studio still decided to delay the film, despite the release being so close.
Still, the situation is not a complete wash for AMC. While the situation is still turbulent in the United States, AMC has announced that a third of their cinemas located in European and Middle Eastern countries are currently open and running at normal capacity. The chain’s plan, coined “AMC Safe & Clean,” requires all staff and theatergoers to wear masks and maintain distance. The plan has also allocated funds for theaters to improve their ventilation systems and increase cleaning frequency.